Hiding in Sweden, to fix the creeping slowness

August 5, 2007

Cocoa080307V 3
I’m on a 5 week retreat in Stockholm, Sweden from August 1 to September 4, doing nothing but programming on BookMooch.

Specifically, I am working on fixing the slowness that has been creeping up on the BookMooch web site, making it really painful to use at times. It’s a really big project to fix, which is why I’m hiding away from everyone while I work on this, putting in 12h days and only going out for meals. I should be able to fix the problem by the end of the month, and hopefully BookMooch will stay fast for a while after that.

The cause of the speed problem is simply BookMooch’s 28% month-to-month growth. I am rewriting the database layer, and the database driver, from scratch, in a programming language called C. My initial tests show a 75x speedup with the new way I’m doing things, which should be enough for a while.

I’m renting a two bedroom apartment in Gamla Stan, which is the center island, and the oldest part of Stockholm. I’m here with my author friend Ramsay Wood, who is doing a 2nd volume of his book of fables.

However, I do get out for two walks a day, for meals, and you can keep up with my adventures by reading my wife’s blog.

21 Responses to “Hiding in Sweden, to fix the creeping slowness”

  1. Mikko said

    Nice plan, hopefully you can fix things all right and the site becomes steadier.

    If you’re looking for places to visit on your walks, the Royal Library is pretty neat and I’m sure you’ve already visited the SF Bookstore.

  2. Mary Jones said

    John, you are by far a traveling addict! But I’m certainly appreciative that you can do your BookMooch work in exotic locations. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself while your there.

    Mary

  3. Olli-Pekka Jalovaara said

    One more exotic step is to take a day ship from Stockholm to Helsinki and back. 1 or 2 nights on the sip. They are one of the biggest and beautiful regular route ships in the world (e.g 10 floor and not expensive).

    Best,
    Olli-Pekka
    Finland

  4. Gideon Rogers said

    John.

    Yes, I think the Bald Savant look works, it was a brave advance. Also a fine reason to start or increase a collection of fine hats.

    Whatever coffee that is you are about to have one of in the photo…. I want one *now!*. I hope it was as good as it looks.

    Anyway, I hope you have fun rewriting the system. And many thanks again for your superb service – your good karma increases by the hour.

  5. Holly said

    I believe this is on Gamla Stan: there’s the hot chocolate place on the courtyard of the Nobel building. I went there in the early spring… amazing. Hope it gets cold enough for some of that stuff, you should really get your hands on it!

  6. Gina Marie said

    John,
    What a great place to “run away” — Sweden is a favorite of mine! I’m glad you are enjoying… even if you are putting in 12 hour days. Have some meatballs and GOOD coffee. Lucky…

  7. Marilyn Southmayd said

    John,
    I am so glad you are working on this program because I do love BM. Just remember you need some John time too.

  8. StefanoC said

    C ??!

    You’ll need _a lot_ more coffee than that !

    BTW. Good work.

  9. “If you’re looking for places to visit on your walks, the Royal Library is pretty neat and I’m sure you’ve already visited the SF Bookstore.”

    Good tip on the Royal Library, I’ll check it out! The SciFi bookstore is about 50ft from me, on my street, I haven’t gone in yet because I don’t want to be tempted away from real work.

    “Olli-Pekka Jalovaara said:
    One more exotic step is to take a day ship from Stockholm to Helsinki and back. 1 or 2 nights on the sip. They are one of the biggest and beautiful regular route ships in the world (e.g 10 floor and not expensive).”

    I love Helsinki, and I plan on going there next week (I’m head of the board of Star Wreck Studios (http://starwreckstudios.com/), which is based there, and it’s the annual meeting), so if you’re free monday (13th) or tuesday (14th) let me know and we can go to the restaurant where you get a 3 course dinner of just deserts (my favorite!), or simply some coffee.

    “Whatever coffee that is you are about to have one of in the photo…. I want one *now!*. I hope it was as good as it looks.”

    That was super-thick hot chocolate, and I was buzzing for 6h afterwards. Yum!

    “I believe this is on Gamla Stan: there’s the hot chocolate place on the courtyard of the Nobel building. I went there in the early spring… amazing. Hope it gets cold enough for some of that stuff, you should really get your hands on it!”

    Amazingly enough, I tried it yesterday afternoon before even seeing your message. It’s very pleasant inside, but the hot chocolate is a bit sweet for my tastes. But, there’s hot chocolate everywhere here, and really good stuff, so there’s something for every taste.

    “What a great place to “run away” — Sweden is a favorite of mine! I’m glad you are enjoying… even if you are putting in 12 hour days. Have some meatballs and GOOD coffee. Lucky…”

    Haven’t had meatballs yet, but I think I’ve had enough pickled herring to last me the month (twice). (grin)

    Thanks everyone, for the fun comments!

    -john

  10. Michael Zinck said

    John

    Thanks for the update, I had noticed the site getting much slower. But glad to see you are taking time to enjoy the city and countryside.

    Michael

  11. Susan said

    I am finding the slowness very frustrating so I am very glad you are working on a solution. I love the idea of bookmooch and am glad my loved volumes are going to happy readers instead of languishing on some used book sellers table.

  12. Thanks for working on this. I love Bookmooch!

  13. Ashley said

    I am glad to hear the slowness will be fixed. I’ve noticed it too and often wondered if it was on my end.
    I hope you have some time to rest during your time in Sweden. I’ve never been so take sometime to enjoy it while you are there.

    Ashley

  14. Jaga said

    PLEASE!!!!MAKE faster! I beg you! 🙂

  15. Michael said

    John, thanks so much for your efforts to unkink Bookmooch. I know it’s a lot of work, especially having to retrofit an existing system, but I think I can speak for all Bookmooch lovers when I say, “we REALLY appreciate it!”

    If you have some time after you’re finished, I’d be interested to hear about some of the challenges you’re facing in this effort, and what you’ve learned from the process!

  16. jeanne said

    If I did not know better I would think it was friday the 13th on the website. Today it seems slower than slow. So we look forward to it picking up speed really soon. Keep up the good work! And enjoy your time there.

  17. From a nerdy point of view, what kinds of changes are you making that you can gain so much speed?

    What are you moving away from, language-wise?

  18. Helena said

    Good luck with the reprogramming. It sounds like a lot of work for just one person. I’m going to Stockholm to visit relatives soon, I’ll be there until August 31. Stockholm is a beautiful city to visit in the summer, I do hope you get to see some of it.

  19. Rob said

    Thanks for all your hard work. It doesn’t go unnoticed by us book fanatics. Take some time to enjoy yourself and thanks for making bookmooch awesome.
    Rob

  20. Mark Emmett said

    John

    Glad you are staying in the land of my employer. When you see a branch of Handelsbanken remember you have a bookmoocher working at their office in NY. Make sure you have a coffee in the foyer of NK.

  21. Melissa said

    I hope you figure out the glitches soon! I get so frustrated when I can’t get on the site. Your site has become my latest addiction. I love it!! Now, back to work!! 🙂
    Enjoy your trip!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: